South Dakota Unemployment

Unemployed? We want to help.

Get Started

File for Unemployment Benefits

In South Dakota the unemployment services are administered by the following Unemployment Insurance Sections or Centers:
UI Benefits - The is the section where Individuals will file their claim, file their weekly certifications, or file an appeal if necessary.
UI Tax - This is the section employers must register with to determine payroll tax liability, where employers must file their required quarterly tax reports, and where they can manage their tax accounts.
New Hire Reporting Center - This is the Center where employers are required by law to report hired employees.
UI Benefits Appeals - This is the Section that handles any appeals of UI Benefits and UI Tax if a worker or employer disagrees with a Section’s decision.  This is a quasi-judicial process.

UI Overpayment and Fraud - This Section is tasked with preventing and detecting fraud and benefit overpayments. 

Unemployment Application and Initial Claim

File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process

Once you’ve determined you’re eligible for UI Benefits it’s time to file your unemployment application. You must file your UI Benefit claim within the first week that you become unemployed. A filing delay may cost you your benefits. You can apply as early as the next business day from the date you were let go.

The following will discuss the specifics of actually filing a claim using the South Dakota online SDWORKS system. SDWORKS is accessible to everyone through the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation Unemployment Insurance website

by clicking the “login to file a claim online” link for claimants on the webpage. Or you can go directly to the SDWORKS system login  

Upon entering the site you will be need to create a username and password and a security question. You will also need to provide a contact email in order to set up your online account. Once that is complete you’ll be directed to a more indepth user profile page where you’ll need to supply your social security number, address, date of birth, and phone number.

Once your user profile is completed you’ll be directed to the main homepage. From this page you can now choose to start a new claim, file your Weekly Certifications, and a couple other services that you may need at some point. In the upper left hand corner you’ll see a link that says “Apply for Benefits.” That link will then walk you through the process of submitting your application.

Unemployed? We want to help.

Documents and Information Needed During Filing

In order to make the application process quick and easy, you should gather the following information prior to starting your unemployment claim:

  • your Social Security number,
  • the contact phone number you prefer to be reached at,
  • all employers names, street addresses, and phone numbers where you worked the past eighteen months,
  • dates for the last eighteen months of employment,
  • an explanation of why you left, were fired, or laid off from each job,
  • a copy of form DD214 if during the last eighteen months you were in the military,
  • a copy of the SF-8 form you received if you were a federal employee during the last eighteen months, and
  • your alien registration number is you’re not a United States citizen.

Having this information already gathered and ready at-hand will make the process much smoother for you.

Claim Weekly Benefits

By filing an unemployment claim you agree to report any changes to the UI Benefits office and provide weekly reports, commonly referred to as Weekly Certifications, for the entire time you are collecting UI Benefits. Any change in employment status or wages earned could impact your eligibility.

How to Claim Weekly Benefits

Filing in South Dakota is very simple. You can either call the South Dakota Unemployement Insurance claim call center or apply online at If you are hearing or speech impaired you can call the Relay Service of South Dakota. 

Enter all required information as directed throughout the online application. Follow all directives and be sure to check you have entered the correct information before moving to another section. You will have the opportunity to review your entire application before submitting. 

Submitting your application online will automatically set up your SDWORKS account. This will give you access to SDWORKS Job Search Database, New Hire Reporting, Unemployment Insurance Tax, and Unemployment Insurance Benefits. This is also where you will submit your required Weekly Certifications. Weekly Certifications must be filed each and every week you are applying for benefits. Your Weekly Certifications can be filed online through your SDWORKS portal or they can be filed by phone twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. 

Claim Denials or Discrepancies

There are also some disqualifying events that can disqualify you from collecting UI Benefits in South Dakota. These include quitting a job or being discharged or fired from a job. Additionally, the UI Benefits section will review your past and/or current employment information for discrepancies or inaccuracies. Discrepancies can reduce or disqualify you from receiving UI Benefits.

If you meet the above Work and Wages Eligibility Criteria and have no disqualifying events you should be able to successfully complete your application for benefits and collect UI Benefits.

Appeals Process for Denied Claims

If your application is denied for whatever reason, you will receive a determination notice that will explain how and when to appeal. Appeal rights expire within 15 (15) days so make sure you closely monitor that deadline. The appeal must be in writing and faxed or mailed to the Appeals Section. The appeal must include a Social Security number and an explanation of the basis of the appeal. 

Office of Appeals Contact Information

If you have to file an appeal it should be sent to:

The Appeals Section
Unemployment Insurance Division
South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation
PO Box 4730
Aberdeen, South Dakota 57402-4730